Yesterday was a very busy day. There were e-mails flying all over the place! That’s when my boss happened to point out the importance of e-mail etiquette training to me and my colleague..
We both were writing e-mails to clients and after reading a few mails, our boss came up and said that we needed to re-read our mails before we sent them out. We both were perplexed and puzzled. What possibly could be that wrong with what we were sending!
That’s when we went back to the various mails that we had sent that day. After going through the first mail, I racked my brain to understand where the error was. But unfortunately I just couldn’t see it. That’s when he told me that I had written the tense of a word incorrectly. It was meant to be singular and I had written the plural. But the error didn’t strike me. As per what I knew it was meant to be plural.
That was my E-mail Etiquette Training Lesson 1. Get your facts right. Our minds tend to connect dots when very often they don’t exist! I had from somewhere concluded that a plural was to be used when actually it should have been the singular form. It was amazing how just adding one ‘s’ could transform the meaning of the sentence completely!
That’s one of the first rules of e-mail etiquette training. Ensure you’re sure about what you write. E-mails are written proofs and someone can catch you at any point of time. So be careful with what you write. Any when in doubt, clarify! And when not in doubt, recheck it yourself!
That brings us to E-mail Etiquette Training Lesson 2. Complete your sentences. A second e-mail that we examined turned out to be incomplete. Yes, an error that most of us make all the time. We tend to miss out on completing the sentence and leave the other person guessing and eventually completing the sentence as per what their own mind says. Dangerous one, that! It’s like the empty painting which just had a cow in it. You can imagine the rest by filling it up with grass on a hilltop or you can put her beside a river! What does that do? Cause ambiguity and confusion. It gives a chance to the other person to fill in data the way they want, leaving you to clear the mess when you realise that you’ve gotten into one!
Moving over to E-mail Etiquette Training Lesson 3 – Don’t be curt. Some people are very direct with their communication skills. They may have a tendency to be the same in their e-mails too. So what happens because of this? Your e-mails may come across as too commanding at times and may lack the gentleness that they should have. This can make the reader feel like you are trying to control him/her and forcing them to do something. And how do all of us react to be ‘told’ to do something? By ensuring we don’t do it! Am sure you get my point! So learn to watch your language and be gentle. Remember, treat the other as you would want others to treat you.
That’s all for our e-mail etiquette training today. These were the three live points that came to light yesterday. We will continue sharing more and more as we come across them. Remember, we are into experiential training. So whatever we teach you is going to be born out of an experience.
That’s me signing off. See you soon with our next series on e-mail etiquette training. Till then, happy e-mailing and don’t forget to re-read your e-mails. That’s the best way to get rid of errors and make you an e-mail etiquette master!